Duchess meets two young wheelchair-bound women

Suzanne Glover and her boyfriend Colin Nelis at Hillsborough Castle
Suzanne Glover and her boyfriend Colin Nelis at Hillsborough Castle

The Duchess of Cambridge took time to talk to two young women who are confined to a wheelchair.

She spoke to Jennifer Smyth, 19, who was paralysed when training for a new vault in gymnastics at the age of 16.

Jennifer Smyth from Eglinton at Hillsborough Castle

Jennifer Smyth from Eglinton at Hillsborough Castle

Jennifer, from Eglinton near Londonderry, explained to Catherine how she is determined to walk one day, despite her spinal chord injury. She now has some movement in her legs.

The Duchess described Jennifer, who plans to go to university in Birmingham, as “an inspiration”.

“She asked me what had happened,” said Jennifer of her discussion with Catherine.

“She is really nice and seemed really interested and was asking questions about how I was getting on.”

The Duchess also spoke to Suzanne Glover, who cannot walk due to the Type 2 Spinal Muscular Atrophy that she has had since infancy.

“I finally got to meet her after the Great Kate Wait [before the birth of William and Catherine’s first child George]. I was part of that,” said Suzanne, who is now aged 23.

“She was very pleasant,” Suzanne added, in reference to the Duchess.

Suzanne met Princess Diana when she was very young, aged 18 months, but barely remembers it.

Now she is a PhD student of counselling.

The duchess spoke to Suzanne, who was accompanied to the garden party yesterday by her boyfriend Colin Nelis, about “resilience and how people adapt”.